Sep 1, 2009

A Tale of Two Reports: Iran and the Bomb

Chuck MisslerBy Chuck Missler

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report last week saying that Iran's nuclear program expansion has slowed since May. The report also states that the IAEA has no concrete evidence that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb. However, the IAEA has withheld another document – one summarizing Iran's nuclear efforts – and Israel wants the IAEA to stop protecting Iran and release this additional document.

Iran has consistently said that its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes, in order to free up more oil for exports. Plenty of people have been skeptical of that claim, of course. For one, Iran's leaders have a serious antagonism toward Israel and regularly fund terrorist groups and countries that want to destroy the little Jewish state stuck in the middle of a vast Middle East Islamic empire. For another, Iran's government is run by strict Muslims who believe Islam will eventually take over the world. Top that off with the fact that Iran has no nuclear power plants to use all that stockpiled uranium, and it's easy to doubt Iran's peaceful agenda.

The IAEA report released on Friday does have some positive things to say. For instance, for three years Iran was continually adding centrifuges and enriching uranium at its underground Natanz plant. But, since May no new centrifuges have been added. Iran's foreign ministry spokesman said last week that Iran would remain under IAEA monitoring, and the IAEA also noted that it had no definite evidence that Iran has nuclear bomb aspirations.

Yet. Iran has 5000 centrifuges busily refining uranium like normal, and there are 2000 more that could be up and running within weeks after doing routine tests. There is so much uranium enrichment going on that inspectors aren't able to keep up with it sufficiently to ensure none is siphoned off for "military purposes." Analysts believe Iran has enough low-enriched uranium to convert into the highly-enriched uranium necessary for a nuclear bomb. That doesn't mean Iran is ready to produce an actual bomb, but it could conceivably have the technology by 2013.

The IAEA has another document that it has not released, one that summarizes all the information it has gathered on Iran's nuclear program to date. According to the AP, the summary includes information on Iran's alleged weapons experiments, including research into developing nuclear warheads. The current head of the IAEA, Mohammed ElBaradei, has been unwilling to release the summary, fearing that doing so would decrease Iran's cooperation with the IAEA and could encourage the US and Israel to take military action against Iran. The IAEA will release a final report on Iran in a couple of weeks and will announce whether it will release the full summary. If ElBaradei does not release the summary, Japan's Yukiya Amano might do so after taking charge of the IAEA on December 1.

The world wants to know what exactly Iran is up to. After months of stonewalling the IAEA on the full extent of its nuclear program, Iran announced on Tuesday that it was ready to discuss its nuclear plan with world powers. The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China are all meeting in Germany this week to discuss the Iran issue. The latest international proposal is that Iran stop with its uranium enrichment or else face a fourth round of sanctions. Some analysts believe Iran is behaving moderately well because it wants to keep Russia on its side in resisting calls for sanctions. While Iran has been cooperating somewhat with the IAEA, it has not offered the full transparency that would really calm hearts. And if Iran refuses to cooperate with the UN Security Council and Germany, history has shown Israel quite willing to take out its enemies' nuclear facilities before they can be used for either good or evil.

Related Links

Iran Has Enough Uranium to Build at Least Two Bombs - Bible Prophecy Today (Joel C. Rosenberg)
Iran seeks reopening of nuclear talks - Los Angeles Times
White House says has no word of new Iran offer - AFP
Feeling alone - WORLD Magazine (Emily Belz)
Jerusalem wants IAEA report on Iran released - The Jerusalem Post
Russia: Isolating Iran no solution to nuclear issue - Press TV
Northern Storm Rising: Russia, Iran, and the Emerging End-Times Military Coalition Against Israel - Ron Rhodes (Book)
Learn the Bible in 24 Hours - Chuck Missler (Book)